Soon after I bought the property in 2005 I went to the British Library in London to see if there were any old maps of Coldharbour Farm. Interestingly enough, there was and on all the maps I found a ‘cottage garden’ next to the farmhouse. In the old days the farmer and his wife would try to grow some fruit and vegetables for their family. Fruit in particular was used for making jam and stored in jars for winter time. In the garden there are damson trees, a pear tree (conference), a quince and even a cherry tree. With the help of a local fruit expert called Ken we are gradually bringing these once overgrown trees back into shape. This year we have had a bumper crop of damsons. Damsons are not very popular in the shops these days because a lot of people try to eat them before they are ready. The velvety skin needs to be very soft and you will find they are quite delicious. This week a very kind lady who stayed in the cottage made me a damson tart – it was delicious !